First woman with computer science PhD wins top award

The Turing Award, computing's highest honor, has gone to a researcher with a unique Stanford connection.

When Barbara Liskov completed her doctorate at Stanford in 1968, she was the first woman in the United States to earn a PhD in computer science. Her dissertation was titled, "A Program to Play Chess Endgames."

The award, announced by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), cites Liskov's work in making software more reliable and easier to maintain. Her achievements in programming language design are the basis of every important programming language since 1975, according to ACM. She is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.